Joseph Prince - God's Plan To Bless You
Today I want to share with you God's wisdom, all right, his plans and his purposes, are you ready? All right, we're gonna see why God chose Abraham and from Abraham God says, "I'll make of you a great nation," and we know that nation is the nation of Israel. And we know that Jesus Christ came as a Jew, all right? He didn't come as someone from another race. He came as a Jew.
Now, did God bless the nation of Israel, set them apart to be his voice, to be his representation? Did God do that because they were better morally, because they are better in their DNA? No, God loved the entire world. Don't forget, for God so loved the world, not for God so loved Israel that he gave his only begotten Son. God loved the entire world, but God's purpose in setting apart Israel is so that Israel will become God's specimen, so to speak. Now, don't forget what happened to the nation of Israel. Actually, God wanted them under grace, but they boasted in their own self-righteousness, in their own efforts. They said to God, "All that God says at Mount Sinai, all that God can command us, we are able to do it".
Now, they have not even heard the Ten Commandments yet. So, man presumed on his own strength, which he had none, all right? So, man asked for the law, even having not heard the law, he asked for the law and he promised God that all that God commands he can keep. The very next thing you see is the golden calf. So, that tells us that to be under the law does not produce holiness. It produce sin. Your intention can be right, but your result will be wrong. Are you listening, people? So, for 1500 years, they were under law and the best of them failed. David failed, all right? And the law condemns the best of us, grace saves the worst of us, hallelujah. And for 1500 years, Israel was under the law, but God still dealt with them until they committed idolatry.
In other words, they exchanged gods, and God allowed Gentile dominion to come in, all right, the Babylonians, then the Medo-Persians, and then the Greeks, and then the Romans, so it was while doing the Gentile domination, the Rome, the Roman domination that in a little town called Bethlehem, Christ was born, the Savior of the world. And he has all the officers, all the threefold office of a prophet, priest, and king. And in Matthew 12, chapter 12, he was preaching to the leadership of Israel that rejected him, but the ultimate rejection was in Matthew 12 and that's why Matthew 13, it tells us, Jesus left the house and went by the seaside and taught for the first time the seven kingdom parables.
Parables hide truths from those who have no heart for it, but reveals wonderful gems to those who are hungry for it. That's the purpose of a parable, and the parable of the kingdom was shared in Matthew 13 for the first time and the very first verse says he left the house. House always represents Israel. There's a reason even for his movements. The Bible every detail is full of and pregnant with divine significance. He left the house, left Israel and went by the seaside. Sea always represents the nations of the world. Are you listening, people? And he preached.
Now, what happened? What caused him to leave the house and go to the seaside? Because in chapter 12, 12 comes before chapter 13, the kingdom parables, right? Twelve is before 13, right? One, two, three, okay, 12, chapter 12 tells us about the leadership, rejecting Jesus Christ and that's when he talked about sinning against, the blaspheme against, the Holy Spirit in chapter 12 of Matthew. And then in Matthew 12, he says, "There's one here" referring to himself, "that is greater than the temple". The temple is where the priests are so he's saying what? He's greater than all the priests. And there in the same chapter 12 he said, "A greater than Jonah is here". And then right after that in the next verse he says, "A greater than Solomon is here". Of all the kings that ever lived, no one was wiser and more prosperous than Solomon, and he says, "A greater than Solomon is here".
So, Jesus Christ who is prophet, priest, king, greater than the greatest priest, greater than the greater evangelist, greater than the greatest prophet or king, he's here before them and the leaders of Israel rejected him in his threefold glory. The Bible tells us when he was crucified on the cross, he who knew no sin, who did no sin, in him is in sin, but he became a sin offering on the cross with your sins, with my sins, and God took all our sins based on his knowledge, not our limited meager knowledge, and put it on Jesus Christ so when God punishes our sins based on his knowledge, they are all forgiven. As the dark clouds cleared, the tempers died down. Jesus looked up. Once again, the sin has all been taken. He cried, "Finished". It was all finished. Once more he addressed God as Father.
Can you see that? "Into your hands, I commit my Spirit". And from that time on, nobody can even break a bone of his body. God honored him. God laid him in a tomb that no one had ever used and on the third day to show how God has accepted his sacrifice and all of us are forgiven, we're not forgiven because God says, "You know what? I know you boys, you know, you always sin. I sweep your sins under my carpet". No, no, no, we are forgiven judicially. We are forgiven righteously. We are forgiven on a foundation that no one can dispute. Somebody paid for us. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. He didn't have to come down and die for us.
So, anyway, the leaders rejected him. God gave them another chance. At the cross, you what Jesus did? He cried, "Father, forgive them, they do not know what they're doing". They do not know what they're doing? Don't they the they put the nails in the his hands, and don't know that they are rejected him? Don't they know? But he found something they do not know. They know they hurt him physically, they don't know how they have hurt him internally. So, he knew that they were ignorant. He knew that God has all righteousness and all knowing. He knew that he was all knowing so he seized upon something they didn't have, ignorance and he says, "Father, forgive them. They do not know what they're doing".
Straightaway, he put all of them under the Levitical offering of sin offering. The sin offering or the trespass offering says, "If a man sin out of ignorance, he can bring a lamb". Are you listening, people? When he cried that, he put all the whole nation under ignorance to make his sacrifice available. Isn't it amazing? Think about the love of God. Think about this God. God took the worst manifestation of man's action and God made the cross the means by which this sinful man can be saved because now his Son is on the cross, God poured the judgment on his Son so that the judgment won't fall on them.
So, at the cross he died, God raised him on the third day from the dead, and the king has risen. God gave Israel another chance. God sent Peter to them, and guess what. Three thousand people were saved on the day of Pentecost. Few chapters after that, 5,000 were saved. Wow, so far so good. The nation is responding to the preaching of the gospel. Then came Stephen. This was the last chance. God gave them chance after chance, after chance, after chance. Peter's preaching and finally Stephen who was a deacon full of the Holy Spirit, full of grace, the Bible says, who did great signs and wonders among the people, he was now preaching to the leaders of the nation.
One more chance and it was amazing once in a while you read Acts 7 how Stephen started preaching to them. The God of glory appeared to Abraham. I love it. It's not appeared to Abraham. The God of glory appeared to Abraham. And it's narrated in the entire story of Israel better than I did just now, all the way until finally the leaders... and by the way, when he started preaching, they look at Stephen's face, the leaders of the nation of Israel, they looked at his face and his face shone like an angel. It was the end of the dispensation of law. The beginning of the dispensation of law came through a man with a shining face, Moses.
Now the end of the dispensation of the law ended with a man with a shining face. Stephen said right towards the end, he said, "Which prophet have you not killed"? He told the leaders of the nation. And he says this, "You boast..." Like they boast in the law, right? They are defenders of the law and Stephen told them, this is the final straw, he said that, "And none of you keep it". Bang, they were so angry, the Bible says, they looked at him like they were about to kill him, murder him, and they all rose up. And then Stephen looked up and the Bible says Stephen says, "I see the heavens open". And he saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the Father's right hand, not just see Jesus, but saw the glory of God.
Hey church, the year of greater glory, he saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand. But I thought Jesus was sitting, right? The Bible says after Jesus rose from the dead, he went back to the Father and then he's seated. But why did Stephen see him standing? Because the reason he was standing, don't forget, the offer of the kingdom was still offered, was still stretched out to Israel. Israel was this close to experiencing the return of Jesus the king. And if Jesus returns, it'll be utopia on earth, it will be heaven on earth, not just for Israel, for all the nations of the world. There'll be no more hospitals. There'll no be more courts, criminal courts. There'll be no more children dying young. If fact, there'll be no more death because the king is now reigning in his kingdom, and the kingdom of God will permeate the entire earth, wow. That's why he was standing to return.
If the leader says, Baruch Haba B'shem Adonai, Jesus says, "The day you say these words, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord". He'll return. That's why he was standing. Wow, he was this close, people. Instead the Bible says they stopped their ears like children. They refused to hear. You can read about it. They refused to hear and then they dragged Stephen out, and they threw him to the ground. They removed clothes. They're in for some really heavy business.
All right, and they put their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul, who was a Pharisee of Pharisees. And the Bible says he was consenting unto Stephen's death. God looked at that young man, Saul, and God says, "I'm gonna make him the greatest legalist," he calls himself the chief of sinners later on, "I'll make the chief of sinners the legalist of legalists, the greatest apostle of grace that ever walked on planet earth," mmm. Are you with me so far? The very next chapter, we have chapter 7 just now. Chapter 8, chapter 8, chapter 9, chapter 10 are all conversions of individuals. How many sons does Noah have? Three sons. What are their names? Ham, Shem, butter sausage. Ham, Shem and Japheth, amen?
So, the three sons of Noah, repopulated the earth are Ham, Shem, and Japheth. In chapter 8 right after Stephen died, the mystery started. Israel is suspended for a while. The kingdom is now in obeisance. In other words, postponement for a while and the mystery of the church came in. This mystery was in God's heart. It's not an afterthought. Don't think it's an after thought. It is in God's dream, in God's heart all the while to have a people who are the body of his Son, but the prophets of the Old Testament never knew about the church. That's what... you talk about the church. The church is a mystery, amen? And what happened was this, in chapter 8, the Ethiopian enoch got converted, got saved, right? He's from Ham. The next chapter, Saul became Paul. He got saved. He's a Semite, Shem. Chapter 10, Cornelius, the Roman, he's from Japheth.
So Shem, Ham, Japheth, all saved in those three chapters. So, in other words, God stopped dealing with Israel. The time clock Israel stopped, tick, it stopped. It stopped for 2,000 years. Doesn't mean God has forgotten Israel. Israel is now Lo-Ammi, which means just like not my people in suspension. The kingdom is held back. You cannot have a kingdom without the king but meanwhile, the church is experiencing the kingdom of God's benefits. Are you listening? And how long has it been this mystery? Two thousand years and once Jesus comes to save Israel from the Antichrist, the clock will start ticking again. Israel will come back and join us. Are you listening? Today there's no Shem, Ham, Japheth. We're all one new man in Christ Jesus. No such thing as ethnicity anymore. Are you with me?
Let me close with this verse, okay? It's a beautiful verse about the church. From the New Living Translation, look at this, "God has put all things under the authority of Christ and made Christ head over all things for the benefit of the church". When God raised Jesus from the dead, the Bible says God raised him far above, not just above, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named. If medical science has a name for your condition, Jesus's name is above that name. At the name of Jesus, every disease bow far above his name, his person. He's far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in the world to come.
Right after he said that, he says, "God has put all things under the authority of Christ". In other words, God made him Lord over all things for the benefit of the church. Whoo, that's why I tell you things like this. You have the power of attorney. If I send you to China to conduct my business, I don't go there physically, I send you. I give you the power of attorney. You know what's the power of attorney? You can sign my checks, you sign in my name, all right? How much you can sign depends on how much I have, lah, but how much does Jesus have? How much does Jesus have? Far above all power and might, above every name. And that's why when you pray for the sick, you don't pray to God, "God, please heal the sick. God, please heal the sick".
I can tell you that kind of prayer is not effective. You don't see answers to that prayer. What you do is command that body to be healed. Curse that cancer in the name of Jesus, and it's as if you're using the power of attorney... not as if, you are using the power of attorney. Even though physically, I'm not in China, you can do my business because you have the power of attorney. So, likewise we're on earth. Physically Jesus is not here, but he's here by his Spirit and in the power of his name. We can say, "In the name of Jesus, pimple, die". I talk to my hair, you know? I say, "Hair be fruitful and multiply in Jesus's name". So far so good. If your knee is hurting you, speak to your knee. Say, "In the name of Jesus" God made him head of all things, not for heaven's benefit, for the church benefit.
Have y'all received this so far? Having said that, the church has lasted for 2,000 years, church, listen, which is his body is made full and complete by Christ. Ephesians 5, come on Ephesians 5, drop down all the way. Drop down, "I show you a great mystery. There's a great mystery, I speak concerning Christ and the church". Even though Paul is talking about husband loving your wife, it's Christ and the church. Nevertheless, he says, "Let each one of you in particular love his own wife as himself". And the Bible says we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. His flesh is healthy, his bones is full of life. We are members of his flesh and of his bones, hallelujah.
I want you to know the church is not a building. The church is not steeple, tower. It is not stained-glass windows. It's not organ music. The church is made up of living organisms, of human beings that Christ has redeemed. He is the head and we are his body. The church of Jesus Christ is filled with the fullness of God. Go back again to we are the church's body. It is made full and complete by Christ. Friends, I'll telling you, the church of Jesus Christ is the most successful, the most powerful, the wealthiest, and the greatest organization ever in the universe, amen. It's the Father's dream, and Jesus paid for it.
We know that God loved the world. He died for the world, yes, but it's almost, "Husband love your wife as Christ did, gave himself for the church". He gave himself for the church. So, I want to tell you something, when you're sick, find someone in the church to pray for you. When you're confused, don't neglect coming to church. Don't forsake all the answers, the fullness of Jesus is here. Wherever you are, all right, watching this, that's where the fullness of Jesus is. The church is God's of idea. It's God's dream. You want powerful weapons, gifts? It's in the church, the church of Jesus Christ. Each of you have a gift word of wisdom, word of knowledge, tongues prophecy, gifts of healings, gifts of working of miracles. It's all there, where? In the church.
Keep on coming. Keep on receiving. Never forsake the assembling of ourselves together. The work of demons is always to bring individuals away from the church. Remember the Gadarene demoniac? He was so demon possessed, the devil brought him away alone from people. He was cutting himself. So, whenever you feel like thoughts coming, "leave the church, be by yourself," it's demonic activity. He wants you cut off from the comfort, from the encouragement in the church. Are you listening? All of you have amazing power gifts. Marvel comics can only dream. Yours is for real.
Some of us look like Superman. Some look like Incredible Hulk that gives good news. By the way, just let you know that do you know one of God's names is hero? Do you know that? One of God's names is hero. It says Jesus's name, "The government shall be upon his shoulders, his name shall be Wonderful, Counselor, the Prince of peace, and the mighty God. Mighty God there is El Gibbor, which is El is power, gibbor is hero. That's why the name Gabriel is Gibbor El in reverse, amen? Gibber is champion, hero. Jesus is El Gibbor, our powerful hero. Praise the Lord.